iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SHAWNEE, Okla.) -- At least one person is dead after a series of tornadoes ripped across the Midwest on Sunday, injuring dozens while leaving a path of devastation in a region that is expected to see more severe weather later on Monday.More than 50 tornadoes struck six central states -- Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri,...
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Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(FRESNO, Calif.) -- Accidentally butt dialing someone is embarrassing or inconsequential to most, but for two Fresno, Calif., men, their cell phone mishap landed them in jail.
The call, which went to 911, started like any other call to the police dispatcher, with the operator asking, “What is your emergency?”
Most Akronites are familiar with the All-American Soap Box Derby's annual race at Derby Downs in July.
But you may not be familiar with a second race at Derby Downs each year...where the goal is not just to win at the bottom of the hill, but to learn.
The Gravity Racing Challenge was held Saturday, which has grown in three years from a handful of racers to nearly 70 taking part in the 2012 contest.
Students taking part learn as part of the "STEM" curriculum - Science, Technology, Engineering and Math - to learn what makes those soap box cars roll faster down the hill.
It's not just gravity, "STEM" students find out...it's factoring in things like weight and the wheels on the cars.
After all the science, math and engineering, the kids get to participate in the Gravity Racing Challenge, getting first hand experience on how all the numbers, measurements and calculation translate into real life racing.
FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby president/CEO Joe Mazur tells AkronNewsNow.com that he got the idea for the program from the "FirstRobotics" and "FirstLego" programs at an arena he used to run.
Mazur says those programs teach "STEM" concepts by building robotics for older kids, and by legos for younger kids.
He calls the Derby's GRC program "like those programs on wheels".
Some of the world's most extreme sports is coming to the Derby Downs.
The First Energy All-American Soap Box Derby will be hosting an educational program on street luge and skateboarding events.
The derby has presented various alternative uses for the hill throughout the years.
"It's something that we had last year at the All-American and we saw the excitement in the kids eyes. We thought we could expand on that," said Joe Mazur, president of the Soap Box Derby.
The "Learn to Luge/Skate Day" will be held this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Participants in the one-day course will receive both classroom and practical luge and skateboard training by some of the top professionals in the world.
"There will be about a dozen "Open Hill Days" for certified luge and skateboarders."
For those who complete the course, they will receive a certification to attend the events throughout the year on select dates.
Certified racers will also get a chance to participate in the sanctioned luge and skateboard races scheduled for September 22-23 at the Derby Downs.
To register for the event call the First Energy All-American Soap Box Derby Office at (330) 733-8723.
Longtime employee at Firestone and former chairman for the Soap Box Derby, Frank A. Wahl, died Monday.
The Beacon Journal reports the man known as "Whitey" to many died of kidney and heart complications at the age of 90.
Soap Box Derby Historian Jeff Iula says another man who led beside him, Bruce Buchholzer, former president of the derby, died yesterday. He describes both Whitey and Buchholzer as family.
"That's what's been so great about the derby. It really is one big family," said Iula. "To me, I guess, they're like dads or like uncles - both of them."
A graduate from Garfield High School, Mr. Wahl attended the University of Akron and earned eight letters in four sports.
Mr. Wahl was inducted into the Soap Box Derby's hall of fame in 1999 and entered the first race at Derby Downs at the age of 15.
Iula says both Whitey and Buchholzer were influential to the Soap Box Derby.
"Both of them just really cared about the program and they never got paid a dime. They volunteered thousands of dollars," said Iula.
He retired in 1982 after serving as a longtime employee for Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.
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Actor-director Corbin Bernsen will be making his way to Akron once again.
After the release of 25 Hill, the movie centered around the All-American Soap Box Derby, Bernsen is ready to create another movie in the city.
Bernsen says the new movie, "3 Day Test" is about a man who loses control of his family due to technology of the fast pace of life. He then gets an idea from his brother to put his family through a three-day test.
The test will see how a family can survive inside their home without any power, electricity and water.
Bernsen says he decided to film his new movie in the Akron for specific reasons including the generosity of the people and the future growth of the city.
"There's a great desire there to grow and rebuild Akron and I just want to be a part of that," says Bernsen.
Filming will begin in late February according to Bernsen.
Next year will mark the 75th anniversary of the All American Soap Box Derby which is why Bernsen will be pushing for a national release.
For those who still haven't received their copy of "25 Hill," Bernsen is working with Acme stores for second release date set after Thanksgiving.
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